Friday 19 July 2024

Book Spotlight: Poe and I

 A book spotlight today for the new release from Crystal Lake Entertainment, Poe and I. Enjoy.

Poe and I banner

Poe and I by Matthew Mercier

Welcome to Poe Cottage. Would you like a tour?

Jonah Peabody takes a job as caretaker and docent for the last home of Edgar Allan Poe in The Bronx, but from the moment he moves into Poe’s Basement—where the caretaker must live—he finds himself also living inside a Poe story, stalked by a man who seems to be his doppelganger and who seeks revenge for past misdeeds. 

Jonah claims to be hunting for his lost sister, but as the narrative shifts between past and present, it’s clear that he’s not telling us the entire story. What is he hiding and why?  

Haunted by the violent ghosts of his own family and Poe himself, Jonah must reconcile with his dark past before the dual shadow of guilt and grief buries him alive. Living in Poe’s Basement might just be his last chance at redemption.

Book Link:

About the Author

Matthew Mercier is a writer and storyteller living in the woods of the Hudson Valley. He’s worked as a tour guide at the Mystic Aquarium, run a youth hostel in Albuquerque, been slimed as a salmon packer in Naknek, Alaska, provided showers for homeless men on the Bowery, and proudly served three years as head docent and caretaker for the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage in The Bronx. He earned an MFA from Hunter College where he taught writing and children’s literature. His work has appeared The Brooklyn Rail, Mississippi Review, Glimmer Train, Rosebud Magazine, Creative Nonfiction, The Fairy Tale Review, Shotgun Honey, and Mystery Tribune. He’s told stories live on stage with The Moth and been heard on NPR’s The Moth Radio Hour, as well The Story Collider, RISK and The Truth podcasts. He’s been awarded the Leon B. Burstein scholarship from the New York chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, and a residency from the Saltonstall Foundation. Currently, he is writing and producing radio dramas for Radio Free Rhinecliff in Rhinecliff, NY. 
For more information, visit him at  

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Friday 14 June 2024

Book Spotlight: The Dark Between the Twilight

 Today I have a spotlight on the collection of memoir and speculative poems, The Dark Between the Twilight by Jamal Hodge. Enjoy.

The Dark Between the Twilight

The Dark Between the Twilight
is a unique collection of memoir and speculative poems that takes the reader on an unforgettable exploration of the darkest and brightest fragments of a lonely but loving heart. It is an accounting of one man’s soul through the power of the imagination. Through the redemption of his pain, Jamal Hodge invites us to turn from the shadows of the past and seek the light in our own lives.
Darkness purifies, loneliness empties, and in the light, all are made whole again.

"Jamal Hodge invites us to dive deep into our emotions to experience what it truly means to live. His latest collection The Dark Between the Twilight is an introspective look into the dichotomy of existence and existing. His words are raw, powerful, and unforgettable. They stay with you on this darkly haunting journey into the human condition."—Christina Sng, Bram Stoker Award winning author of A Collection of Nightmares

“In The Dark Between the Twilight, Jamal Hodge opens his soul while pulling readers into the light, bleeding over his pages a blend of love, passion, and emotional truth.”—Michael Bailey, Bram Stoker Award winning editor and Shirley Jackson Award nominated writer

“Every now and then, the world is introduced to a work of art that transcends without end; that is not bound to time nor space but rather collective consciousness itself. With soul-wrenching poems such as ‘The Dream of Worms’ and ‘Tomorrow, I’ll Be Five’, or the vulnerability of ‘Goodbye’, and the affecting ‘Stay. Live.’, Jamal’s book, The Dark Between the Twilight, touches upon a reader’s enigmatic soul with an introspective emotion that will inspire generations of artists to come.”—Nzondi, Bram Stoker Award-winning Author

About the Author:

Jamal Hodge is a native New Yorker who grew up surrounded by the perils of poverty, the diversity of convergent cultures, and the harmonious circus of six siblings. He is a multi-award-winning film director, a two-time Rhysling Award nominee, and a 2nd place Dwarf Stars award-winning poet, whose one obsession is exploring the great “Why?” inside each of us. 

Jamal loves the broken things that want to be understood and the secret things that never bothered to hide. With his writing, he hopes to uncover the paradox between suffering and meaning, to use darkness to show light.

When he’s not writing or filming, Jamal is traveling to odd locales, volunteering at some community organization, or in the gym working out to a near death experience.  

He fancies himself a pretty cool guy.

Somnium Blog Tour: An Interview With Deirdre Swinden

Welcome to today's stop on the Sominium Blog Tour. I have an interview the author of Somnium, Deirdre Swinden. Enjoy.

Interview With Deirdre Swinden

Give everyone a quick overview of your book, Somnium.

Somnium offers readers a glimpse into Gillian Hardie’s life after she’s struggled with persistent nightmare disorder. It’s affected her in many ways, and there were times when it affected the decisions she made. What she doesn’t know is that her troubles were caused by a glitch in dream advertising technology, and that the recent uptick in the strength of her dreams is no accident.


When the dreams are bad, MCL Nathan Keller jumps in to help. Aided by Dex Cooper and a host of Somnium Corporation’s technology, they battle her demons and usually win. When an accident traps Gillian in the dream state, it’s a race against time to ensure she not only survives, but that her survival doesn’t result in the unleashing of an unimaginable nightmare that could affect millions of Somnium’s customers.


At its core, Somnium is a cautionary tale about the lethal dangers of corporate greed and a society hellbent on advancing technology without thought to the repercussions. The focus on Gillian—one woman so badly affected by a glitch in the dream advertising tech that she will either die by her own hand because of her nightmares or suffer until death during those dreams—is my way of showing that advancement isn’t without collateral damage. At the same time, it’s about the nature of self-forgiveness – the struggle we all go through to accept ourselves as both good and bad in order to become whole and strong.


What were your inspirations for writing this book?

I’ve been fascinated by the concepts of sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming most of my life. The idea that people across time and cultures have had the exact same dream—an image of an old hag (the succubus)—and experience the same sensation of being awake and in the presence of something “evil” but not able to move resonated with me. I’ve had those dreams myself. Add to that a grumbling joke that soon they would be advertising to us in our dreams and a nightmare where I thought it would be nice if someone could jump in to help and you’ve got Somnium.


Tell us about the main character, what’s their personality? What kind of emotional journey does your character go through in the book?

The book centers on Gillian Hardie, who has had her life disrupted by bad dreams. She is introverted, isolated and has struggled to survive the deep depression associated with persistent nightmare disorder. She has learned to avoid technology to help calm her anxious brain and mastered the art of lucid dreaming to combat her fears. She’s had a troubled past, and throughout the book, readers will get to know what brought her to her present state of mind. The journey she undertakes is not only one to save her life, but to remind herself that it is worth living—no matter what she may have done in the past.


What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

I love the process. From the first inkling of an idea, to building out the characters and their different personalities, to building the world they live in. Writing the story helps me get to know them, to learn who they are—which is often different than how I originally imagined them to be. It’s a difficult process, and I often find myself and my characters frustrated, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What did you find most challenging about writing your book?

For me it’s endings. I’m a “plantser” – writing by both plan and the seat of my pants – so I can see a general ending in my head when I start writing. As I get closer to the end, it gets harder to get there—to build the bridges from where my characters have unexpectedly ended up to the ending I had originally foreseen. With Somnium, I needed to break my hold on the original ending and incorporate elements of that idea with what popped up along the way. It was difficult to give up that original scene, but once I did, the ending finally came out.


Did anything surprise you about the process of writing your book?

Not really about the process—I’ve been writing most of my life and have several novels that no one will ever see tucked away in a file, so I’m familiar with my writing process. I think what surprises me is some of the twists and turns that pop up as I’m writing. The way the characters can take over and as the author, you’re simply capturing their actions and words as they flow. I think Stephen King described that feeling as the hole that opens in the screen and you just fall into the world. You feel like you’re watching and taking notes vs. actually being in control of the story.


How do you create your characters? Do they begin as a name, an idea, or do they start talking to you fully formed?

Usually I have an idea about a scene and over time, I build the characters and their personalities around that scene. How do they interact in that moment? Do they make me laugh? Make me angry? What about them captivates me because they’re in that scene? If I can’t let them go after that initial scene, then I know I need to write their story.


What is the hardest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your writing life? 

I think my fear of rejection is probably the most difficult thing I’ve had to overcome. To be a writer is to put yourself out there on paper and pixels for all to see, and as an introvert, that is really hard for me. My MFA program helped me to overcome that fear, but it certainly still plagues me from time to time.


How do you make time to write, and how do you utilize that time.

I try to write whenever I can—lunch hours, a few hours on the weekends. Sometimes I talk myself through a scene in the shower or on a commute to work. I prefer to write in the morning and edit in the evenings, and knowing those proclivities, I find I’m better able to use the hours I can snatch to work on my writing.


Do you have a favourite author, or writing inspiration?

There are so many! Margaret Atwood, Shirley Jackson, Michelle Paver, Stephen King, Richard Matheson, M.R. James, Susan Hill, Neil Gaiman…the list goes on! I love good dystopian novels, sci-fi epics, ghost stories and anything having to do with haunted houses (or haunted people…or objects…really anything haunted!).


When I need inspiration, I reread The Shining, Oryx & Crake, Hell House and The Haunting of Hill House (or watch their various movie iterations). The blend of science and spectre—of psychological and paranormal—is something I strive for in my own work.


Anything special on your 'to read' list for this year?

My “To Be Read” pile is huge! I have the latest from Stephen King and Margaret Atwood at the top of my list, but also several new releases from new authors that I want to try out. In particular, I’m itching to get my hands on some of my fellow female horror authors’ works!


Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

Sorry – nothing comes to mind on this one!


What’s your next project? What can readers expect from you in the future?

I recently completed a sci-fi/horror crossover where a group of misfits are isolated and experimented on by a scientist attempting to solve the problem of death itself. It inevitably goes horribly wrong. I’m also working on a fantasy/horror crossover based on the idea that sometimes, a world might need to be destroyed. It plays on the concept that the destruction of long-held ideals or beliefs isn’t always bad, and that those who do the destroying aren’t always the villains they seem to be. I’m still working on that one, but the feedback so far has been good!

Somnium by Deirdre Swinden

Immerse yourself in a terrifying blend of psychological horror and high-tech science fiction in this riveting novel where dreams can kill. Gillian Hardie experiences nightmares so intense they threaten her very existence, thanks to a glitch in Somnium Corporation's groundbreaking dream advertising technology. Every night, her sleep unleashes monsters that her body reacts to as if they were real, pushing her to the edge of despair.

Armed with her lucid dreaming skills, Gillian battles these horrors, but when an accident traps her in a perpetual dream state, she must rely on Nathan Keller, a nightmare warrior, and Dex Cooper, an Operator, to navigate this nightmarish reality. With her darkest fears manifesting like never before, Gillian faces a race against time to survive a threat that could unleash unimaginable horrors from the depths of her mind.



This novel includes a brief depiction of sexual violence, gore, and nightmare imagery.


Book Link:

Author Bio:

A successful writer/editor in the corporate world for more than two decades, Deirdre Swinden is currently living and writing in North Carolina. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Arcadia University and has published short stories in Griffel Literary Magazine and Grim & Gilded. Early in her writing career, she won the Popular Short Story Contest at the 2000 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference with her short work, “Shooting Televisions.”





Friday 31 May 2024

Book Spotlight: Somnium

Another book spotlight today for Crystal Lake Entertainment's new release, Somnium by Deirdre Swinden. Enjoy.

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Somnium by Deirdre Swinden

Immerse yourself in a terrifying blend of psychological horror and high-tech science fiction in this riveting novel where dreams can kill. Gillian Hardie experiences nightmares so intense they threaten her very existence, thanks to a glitch in Somnium Corporation's groundbreaking dream advertising technology. Every night, her sleep unleashes monsters that her body reacts to as if they were real, pushing her to the edge of despair.

Armed with her lucid dreaming skills, Gillian battles these horrors, but when an accident traps her in a perpetual dream state, she must rely on Nathan Keller, a nightmare warrior, and Dex Cooper, an Operator, to navigate this nightmarish reality. With her darkest fears manifesting like never before, Gillian faces a race against time to survive a threat that could unleash unimaginable horrors from the depths of her mind.

About the Author

A successful writer/editor in the corporate world for more than two decades, Deirdre Swinden is currently living and writing in North Carolina. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Arcadia University and has published short stories in Griffel Literary Magazine and Grim & Gilded. Early in her writing career, she won the Popular Short Story Contest at the 2000 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference with her short work, “Shooting Televisions.”

Friday 12 April 2024

Book Spotlight: The Thing in the Wind

Today I have a book spotlight for you on the horror book, The Thing in the Wind by Bill Mullen. Enjoy.

The Thing in the Wind 

A search party stumbles upon an unspeakable horror that threatens both their lives and sanity. 

In the heart of the Canadian wilderness, a harrowing tale of survival and psychological horror unfolds in this gripping novel. Amidst the vast, unforgiving landscape, a woman's world is shattered by the mysterious disappearance of her mother in the remote reaches of northern Saskatchewan. Along with her father and a small, determined search party, she embarks on a desperate quest for answers, only to encounter an unspeakable terror lurking in the shadows of the ancient forests.

As the group navigates the treacherous wilderness, their journey becomes a chilling fight for survival against not only the harsh elements but also a malevolent force that defies explanation. Haunted by eerie premonitions and the feeling of being stalked by an unseen entity, they begin to realize that they are facing a horror far beyond their wildest imaginations. 

This suspenseful narrative weaves together the threads of environmental horror and the mysteries of the unknown, crafting a story that is as thought-provoking as it is terrifying. With a strong female protagonist at its core, this novel explores the depths of human resilience and the bonds that tie us to the natural world.

For fans of the haunting wilderness narratives in Adam Nevill's The Ritual and the psychological depth found in Paul Tremblay's works, this Canadian Wilderness Survival Horror Book is a must-read. It stands alongside books like The Terror by Dan Simmons, offering a unique blend of psychological thrillers and horror, imbued with the eerie lore of Wendigo supernatural horror books.

Dive into this gripping horror novel, where the beauty of nature collides with the darkest corners of the human psyche, and the hunt for missing people unravels a mystery that might have been better left undiscovered.

Book Link:

About the Author

Bill Mullen was born in England and holds an MFA from the Bluegrass Writers Studio. He now lives in Kentucky where he teaches literature and writing at Eastern Kentucky University. His first novel, Red Nocturne, was published in 2016.


Friday 29 March 2024

Book Spotlight: A Graveyard of Stars (Dark Tide 15)

 Another book spotlight today with the anthology, A Graveyard of Stars (Dark Tide 15). Enjoy.

A Graveyard of Stars (Dark Tide 15)

In uncharted and forbidden tracts of space, ancient evils awaken…

With its visceral action, escalating dread, vivid characters braving trauma and temptation, and startling feats of imagination, A Graveyard of Stars anthology will send the reader hurtling through space toward chilling revelations and breathless conclusions. 

In "The Temple," after an audacious crew of salvagers crosses into dangerous territory seeking otherworldly treasure, they discover an occult secret which could change everything.

In "The Station," the intrepid crew of the Argento encounters unimaginable horrors after discovering a mysterious, drifting megastructure in the depths of space.

And in the title novella "Graveyard of Stars," a routine maintenance job on the edge of the notorious Demon Star system goes terribly wrong, leaving the stranded engineers caught between the unfathomable forces of Algol and the lethal dangers of the encroaching defence net they are sworn to uphold.   

These three brilliantly inventive novellas combine in this compulsive sci-fi collection to explore threats lurking in a forbidden and blighted sector of space. Perfect for fans of Event Horizon, Alien, Dead Silence and Luminous Dead

About the Authors

Once Dan Soule was an academic, but the sentences proved too long and the words too obscure. Northern Ireland is where he now lives. But he was born in England and raised in Byron’s hometown, which the bard hated but Dan does not. They named every other road after Byron. As yet no roads are named after Dan but several children are. He tries to write the kind of stories he wants to read. His short fiction has featured in, Disturbed Digest, Devolution Z and now Sanitarium Magazine among others. Five novels have spawned from his pen, including Neolithica, Witchopper, The Ash, Savage, and The Jam.


Lee Mountford is a horror author from the North-East of England. His first book, Horror in the Woods, was published in May 2017 to fantastic reviews, and his follow-up book, The Demonic, achieved Best Seller status in both Occult Horror and British Horror categories on Amazon.

He is a lifelong horror fan, much to the dismay of his amazing wife, Michelle, and his work is available in ebook, print and audiobook formats.

In August 2017 he and his wife welcomed their first daughter, Ella, into the world. In May 2019, their second daughter, Sophie, came along. Michelle is hoping the girls don’t inherit their father’s love of horror, but Lee has other ideas…


Joseph Sale is the critically acclaimed Amazon best-selling author of more than 30 books, including The Book of Thrice Dead, Virtue’s End, Dark Hilarity, and The Claw of Craving. Bram Stoker Award Finalist Ross Jeffery described Joseph Sale as “a gothic master”.

He has been published by Blood Bound Books, Crystal Lake, The Writing Collective, Nonbinary Review, Dark Hall Press, and Storgy Magazine, and his work has appeared in anthologies such as Tales From The Shadow Booth, Exit Earth, Burnt Fur, and Blood Bank alongside writers such as Richard Thomas and Neil Gaiman. In 2017 he was nominated for The Guardian’s Not The Booker prize.

Despite growing up in the Lovecraftian seaside town of Bournemouth, he now lives in Winchester (in the UK) with his wonderful family, where he obsesses over table-top RPGs, trading card games, book bindery, esoteric Christianity, and anime.

To read a free prequel novella in the critically acclaimed series The Book of Thrice Dead, visit Joseph Sale’s website:

To follow him on social media, find him on Twitter / X @josephwordsmith 

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Book Spotlight: One of The Dead

Another book spotlight today with the horror book, One of the Dead by Richard Farren Barber. Enjoy.

One of the Dead by Richard Farren Barber

Terror doesn't stumble and moan—it walks silently among us, cloaked in the guise of the overlooked.

Nick, burdened with the rare ability to see these dead predators for what they truly are, faces a nightmare when his girlfriend, Abby, becomes ensnared by their sinister intent.

These are not your typical undead. They blend in, their appearances mirroring the forgotten faces of society, making their predatory nature all the more chilling. A touch is all it takes for them to latch onto their prey, draining life in a way that leaves the body walking but the spirit doomed.

As Abby becomes the focus of such a being's obsession, Nick is drawn into a desperate struggle not just for her life, but for her very soul. Their fight for survival takes them from the deceptive safety of city streets to the foreboding quiet of a cemetery, where the boundary between the living and those claimed by the shadowy grasp of the dead becomes perilously thin.

One of The Dead weaves a tale not of a zombie apocalypse, but of a quiet invasion, a creeping horror that targets the heart. It's a story of love tested by unfathomable forces, of a battle against an enemy that never rests, never forgives, and never ceases its pursuit until you become one of its own.

You can find the book here.

One of the Dead

About the Author

Richard Farren Barber was born in Nottingham in July 1970. After studying in London he returned to the East Midlands. He lives with his wife and son and works as a manager for a local university.

He’s fairly confident people only read these bios to check the author isn’t a serial killer. (Spoiler alert: he’s not.)

He has over 80 short stories published, seven novellas: “The Power of Nothing”, “The Sleeping Dead”, “Odette”, “Perfect Darkness, Perfect Silence”, “Closer Still”, “All Hell.” , and “Twenty Years Dead.” His two novels are: “The Living and the Lost” and “The Screaming Dead” (Co-authored with Peter Mark May).




Friday 1 March 2024

Book Spotlight: Dark Tide 14: F.U.B.B.

 Another book spotlight for you today with Crytal Lakes new entry into the Dark Tide series, Dark Tide 14: F.U.B.B. Enjoy.

Dark Tide 14: F.U.B.B.

Three authors who will shake your belief, three stories that defy belief, f***ed up beyond belief!

Church of the Splatter Spray Saints by Jasper Bark: Every city has them. A wasteland at the end of a long dirt road, where uncaught serial killers dump their victims. This is where the Brethren in Blood hold their tent meetings. Dubbed – the Church of the Splatter Spray Saints, this blood crazed cult is building a huge national following.

Cindy, Mark and Gerard from the One Light Ministry are on a covert mission to rescue a wealthy donor who has fallen into the hands of the cult.

George Harding hates and fears the cult members who slavishly follow him. He is one score away from leaving it all behind, he just has to get through one last gathering with his life and sanity intact.

Dmitry works for the Russian Mafia, the cult’s secret backers. He would like nothing more than to kill George. When a deadly biological weapon is smuggled into the tent meeting, Dmitry might just get his wish.

Tonight, all of them will receive communion in the Church of the Splatter Spray Saints.

Double Feature by Candace Nola: Friday night at the drive-in! Horny teens, hot dogs, and horror movies, but the locals have a special feature of their own going on behind the scenes!

Like the best of Ed Wood Lee, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Joe R. Lansdale, it’s a typical Friday night at the drive-in, but turns sinister when the locals show up for some fun of their own.

The Chatter of Night Bugs by Daniel J. Volpe: Duke, Tammi Jean and Raylynn make their money in the vilest of ways. But when they pick up a young woman thinking her to be an easy score, they unleash an ancient magic of vengeance. Deep in the Appalachian Mountains something stirs, something evil, seeking justice. And with it comes the bugs…lots of bugs.

Amazon Book Link:

About the Authors

Daniel J. Volpe is the Splatterpunk Award-winning author of Plastic Monsters, Talia, Left to You, and many others. His love for horror started at a young age when his grandfather unwittingly rented him, "A Nightmare on Elm Street.". 

He can be found on Facebook @ Daniel Volpe, Instagram @ dj_volpe_horror , X @DJVolpeHorror , TikTok @danieljvolpehorror1

Candace Nola is a multiple award-winning author, editor, and publisher. She writes poetry, horror, dark fantasy, and extreme horror content. She is the creator of Uncomfortably Dark Horror, an indie press, which focuses primarily on promoting indie horror authors and small presses with weekly book reviews, interviews, and special features.

Multiple award winning author, Jasper Bark is infectious – and there’s no known cure. If you’re reading this you’re already contaminated. The symptoms will manifest any time soon. There’s nothing you can do about it. There’s no itching or unfortunate rashes, but you’ll become obsessed with his mind-bending books.

Then you’ll want to tell everyone else about his visionary horror fiction. About its originality, its wild imagination and how it takes you to the edge of your sanity. We’re afraid there’s no way to avoid this. These words contain a power you’re hopeless to resist. You’re already in their thrall, you know you are. You’re itching to read all of Jasper’s bloodstained books. Don’t fight this urge, embrace it. You’ve been bitten by the Bark bug and you love it!

Friday 23 February 2024

Book Spotlight: Dark Tide 13: The Devil's Backbone

 Another book spotlight today for the newest Dark Tide anthology, The Devil's Backbone from Crystal Lake Entertainment. Enjoy.

Dark Tide 13: The Devil's Backbone

Join three of horror’s finest storytellers on a journey through the dark heart of Appalachia… 

AFOOT IN THE NETHERWILD by Ronald Kelly: When the children of Bowden Ayres mysteriously disappear in the woods near their homestead, he enlists the aid of Uriah Coldcreek, a seventh son and purveyor of mountain magic. Together, they travel into the deepest depths of the Devil’s Backbone, intent on locating a place known as the Netherwild… the realm of the Coveter, an otherworldly being who steals away the mountains’ youth for its own selfish needs.

SPIRIT COVEN by Laurel Hightower: For generations, Jude and her coven of witches have co-existed peacefully with the citizens of Arnett, providing them with remedies and top shelf bourbon, especially valued during the draconian days of Prohibition. But when too many townsfolk go missing and dead, trust is broken and the witches find themselves on shaky ground, facing threats from frightened families, from the mountain they protect, and the very magic they steward.

THE GATHERER by Red Lagoe: Gray Hollow lies at the foot of evil—a dark part of the forest home to The Devil’s Bathtub. Martin is skeptical of the local folklore warning of the dangers of dipping even a toe into its waters. However, after his brother leaves for Vietnam, more people fall victim to the water's summoning darkness, and Martin struggles to make sense of it all, determined to hold onto life's fraying reality.

Get it Today!

Dark Tide 13: The Devil's Backbone

Tuesday 13 February 2024

Book Spotlight: The Bedmakers

 Another book spotlight today, on The Bedmakers by Chad Lutzke and John Boden. Enjoy.

The Bedmakers

After two elderly men tire of their homelessness in downtown Chicago 1979, they hop a train in search of work out west. But before their last stop, a traumatic event in an empty train car steers their once-hopeful journey into a path of chaos filled with deceit, murder, grave robbing, and dormant secrets.

Book Link:

About the Authors

Full-time family man, artist, musician, and ferret owner with twenty books under his belt, Chad Lutzke dips his toe into all things dark: Crime, thrillers, noir, slice-of-life and horror, every one smothered in heartache with the occasional sliver of hope. 

Some of his books include: OF FOSTER HOMES & FLIES, STIRRING THE SHEETS, THE PALE WHITE, SKULLFACE BOY, THE SAME DEEP WATER AS YOU, THREE-SMILE MILE, and THE NEON OWL series. Lutzke's work has been praised by authors Jack Ketchum, Richard Chizmar, Joe R. Lansdale, Stephen Graham Jones, Tim Waggoner, and his own mother.

He can be found lurking on the internet at

Twitter: @chadlutzke




John Boden was mostly raised in the mountains of Pennsylvania, in the small town of Orbisonia. He is a bakery manager by trade and finds a regular sleep schedule overrated. He currently resides with his beautiful wife and two sons, in a house sweetly haunted by the ghost of a beautician named, Darlene. He likes collecting lots of things and won't usually shut up about it.

His writing is fairly well received and has been called unique of style. His work has been published in the form of stories in several anthologies and as novellas. He plays well with others as is evidenced by collaborative works with Mercedes M. Yardley, Bracken MacLeod, Kurt Newton, Brian Rosenberger, Chad Lutzke and Robert Ford.

Twitter: JohnBoden1970 



Friday 26 January 2024

Book Spotlight: Dark Tide 12: Hunted Highways

Another book spotlight today on Crystal Lake Entertainment's new anthology, Dark Tide 12: Hunted Highways, with novellas by Carver Pike, Lucas Mangum and Rowland Bercy Jr. Enjoy.

Dark Tide 12: Hunted Highways

Embark on a journey into terror, where every mile is marked by suspense and horror. These three horror novellas transform travel into a treacherous adventure where the next stop could be your last.

B.I.R.D.S by Rowland Bercy Jr.: In B.I.R.D.S, a 2023 reimagining of Hitchcock's classic, a group of friends embarks on a cross-country trip, unwittingly stirring a vengeful avian onslaught. Raquel, Robert, Karen, and David face chaos and carnage, learning that appearances deceive and the price of their actions can be deadly. This bone-chilling tale weaves a narrative of suspense and consequence in a world where birds are not what they seem.

Dracula and the Devil Walk Into a Bar by Lucas Mangum: After a team of hunters raid their fortress, Dracula and Lucifer hit the road in search of a new place to call home. They stop at a roadside bar in an unincorporated locale to meet with a vampire named Mina. All three creatures of the night have the potential for violence. And none of them can resist the call of bloodshed. The people in this wood-paneled, neon-lit establishment are about to meet Hell itself.

Road Wrath by Carver Pike: For Melanie and her friends, this fun-filled trip to tour their favorite college campus is about to take a violent and macabre turn. If only they’d kept driving, if only they’d stayed far away from that rest stop, if only they’d been more polite when they encountered the creepy old couple. Now, it’s too late for apologies. Road Wrath is coming.  

Brace yourself for a ride into the heart of darkness. Grab your copy of Hunted Highways now and discover the chilling thrills that await at every turn!

Check out the Book:

About the Authors

Carver Pike is a three-time Splatterpunk Award-nominated horror author. He hosts his own YouTube show called, First Chapter Freakshow, where he reads other horror authors’ books and talks about the world of indie horror publishing.
Pike wields his virtual pen and slings ink onto the page from his home in West Virginia where the people are friendly, the scenery is gorgeous, and horror story inspiration is in every nook, cranny, and holler.
As a Christian, a man of faith who writes some pretty messed up stories, he wants to create some of the vilest creatures you’d ever imagine, so you and he can slay them together.

Find him on these social media sites: Website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Bluesky


Lucas Mangum is the author of nearly twenty books, spanning from splatterpunk and extreme horror to cosmic horror and dark fantasy. He lives in Central Texas with his family and their pet bearded dragon. 

Subscribe to his newsletter or check out his YouTube channel @LMHorror

Rowland Bercy Jr. burst onto the writing scene just three years ago, and has quickly established himself as a talented storyteller. His novella Unbortion was met with both acclaim and controversy, earning him top honors at the 2020 American Fiction Awards and a finalist spot in the 2019 International Book Awards. Readers who seek to push their own boundaries while delving into the darker aspects of life will find his work exciting and rewarding. Rowland’s writing experience has been a rollercoaster ride of excitement and uncertainty, taking him on an adventure unlike any other. Throughout his journey, he encountered numerous talented authors and many devoted fans who have motivated and supported him every step of the way.

He can be found on social media platforms like Facebook, and TikTok, as well as on his website:

Monday 15 January 2024

Book Spotlight: Master of Rods and Strings

Another book spotlight today, on the occult horror book, Master of Rods and Strings by Jason Marc Harris. Enjoy.

Master of Rods and Strings by Jason Marc Harris

Jealous of the attention lavished upon the puppetry talents of his dear sister—and tormented by visions of her torture at the hands of the mysterious Uncle Pavan who recruited her for his arcane school—Elias is determined to learn the true nature of occult puppetry, no matter the hideous costs, in order to exact vengeance.

Now Available on Amazon

About the Author

Jason Marc Harris teaches creative writing, folklore, and literature, and is the Creative Writing Coordinator at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. He graduated with a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Washington, and an MFA in fiction from Bowling Green State University. Creative work in journals such as Apex and Abyss, Arroyo Literary Review, Marvels and Tales, Midwestern Gothic, Psychopomp Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, and Writing Texas. He's written two folklore books based on fieldwork—The Troll Tale and Other Scary Stories and Laugh Without Guilt (both collaborations with Birke Duncan)— and the critical book Folklore and the Fantastic in Nineteenth Century British Fiction (Routledge). He’s currently working on a sequel to Master of Rods and Strings (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2024). He’s also practicing the Dance of Outside while traveling the Astral Plane, polishing up some short stories, screenplays, and a novel, and contemplating sundry eldritch matters. 


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